Why I Read
I suppose I’m like most readers. I find that getting lost in a really good book is a fantastic way to escape.
“Escape.” That is the most common word used by reading junkies to explain their addiction. We want a diversion, a chance to wander off into a different place without the hassle of packing and traveling.
Most of us read with the hopes that we’ll be carried away from our ordinary, stressful, and/or mundane lives – away from what we’re used to and into a place we find exhilarating because it’s new and different. It seems we want to be somewhere else, doing something else. Reading a book can do that for us as a well-told story unfolds with each page we turn.
Are our lives really that bad?
Probably not. At least, not in most cases. A majority of us readers would report that we are quite content with our lives. We love the people in them and we are grateful to be alive. But very few of us have everything we want or can do anything we want. Perhaps that is why we read.
Why do we want to escape?
Because it’s nice to. Because reading transforms our minds into a movie screen, a vehicle, and a time machine – sometimes all three simultaneously. As the words create images on that screen, we see, feel, and experience something previously unconsidered or, at least, presented in a such a way that we are transported away from what we know into a setting we have never before seen, felt, or imagined. We’re whisked away to a new place that has been created for our minds to explore. We meet new people and get to know them. We hate some of them because they are “bad” and we love others because they are “good” or because we can relate to them. That’s the fun in it. We experience something different and go on a journey with someone new without disrupting our real lives.
Even if it’s only temporary, the escape releases endorphins – those little bubbles of happy chemicals manufactured in our brain. They promote a sense of well-being. Reading a good book does more than just engage our brains, it makes them function better. It changes our mood and our mindset.
Reading expands our minds, our imaginations, our hopes, and, therefore, our potential. It makes us realize that there is more out there—and there’s more inside of us—than we might realize. Furthermore, if we’re reading the right kinds of stuff, it will uplift us and inspire us to some degree. But, reader beware. Find material that will help your mind grow and your imagination soar in positive ways. Don’t canker it with filth and negativity. Fill your mind with good things and watch how that will improve almost every other facet of your life. Good begets good. Positive energy creates more positive energy.
Reading is like eating for the thinker. Healthy food equals healthy body, right? Along that same line, good reading makes good brain.
That’s why I read.
Leave a comment below and tell me why you like to read.
For more about the benefits of reading, see: